Urgent actions to address and correct PG&E in light of the California wildfires

Urgent actions to address and correct PG&E in light of the California wildfires

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Isabel Aya Ostroff started this petition to Governor Gavin Newsom and

Overview:

  1. We, as energy users and ratepayers (i.e. public utility customers), are largely beholden to regulated monopolies that provide power for our homes and businesses. In all but a few public-utility-use cases, we are not given choice. Either the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of California has failed to do its job of regulating these monopolies to ensure their delivery of the safe and efficient services required, the companies have not fully complied with the PUC’s efforts, or, more likely, a combination of both has ensued. California deserves a power grid that is reliable, resilient and based upon 21st century technologies and thinking.  
  2. At the same time, climate change has had, and will continue to have, what up until now have been largely unforeseen consequences and must be taken into account going forward. This “new normal,” in which we are living in hotter and drier conditions than the existing utility system has been planned and built for, should fundamentally change the nature in which power is created and distributed. 
  3. To this end, I am recommending three immediate actions to be taken by state and city government officials responsible to energy users and ratepayers, to urgently address and correct for these problems: 

Petition for Immediate Actions: 

  1. Require all utility companies (whether investor-owned or public) to examine and adopt state-of-the-art Ground Fault Neutralizer power shutoff technology (i.e. when a faulty power line is detected, electricity is immediately shut off in a microsecond), as is currently available in the marketplace.
  2. California Governor Gavin Newsom to immediately establish a high level task force charged with developing a plan to ensure the safe and rapid development of micro grids emphasizing renewable energy combined with energy storage technology across the state (i.e. small networks of electricity users with local supply sources that are usually attached to a centralized, national grid but are able to function independently). This would allow local residents, businesses and government agencies to create their own networks of locally produced and shared power. 
  3. Create a state-managed work force to rapidly and defensively eliminate brush from around power lines to account for, in particular, PG&E’s inadequacy on this front, as well as other utility companies'. This could include the use of the National Guard and/or a youth corps, and include both paid and volunteer staff. 

As a college student, coworker and California resident, my heart aches for all those who have been affected by the wildfires and blackouts. California needs more than love and support; we need immediate legislative action.

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